I’m having a lot of trouble writing short stories these days. I think I really need to outline the entire story before I write it, (which can be dangerous because you’re never quite sure how long the outline will be). The more I write, the more I realize how helpless I am without an outline. Every story I’ve written, I’ve started hating it halfway through. Most likely because there’s no real big ending.
Cause usually the seeds of my short stories are cute concepts, like “What kind of guy would Red Sonja marry?” or “The Shawshank Redemption with elves”. Something that asks an intriguing question or lends to an interesting idea. The problem is that ideas are not the story. The story involves a sequence of events. Character wants something or has problem. Character must overcome that. And that sounds simple enough, except you need to make it more than “character is at point A, wants to get to point B, and gets there with little-to-no resistance”.
The resistance is where the gall comes from, because there’s only so much you can establish, prolong, or develop in 5,000 words. These cursed stories are like knots in a necklace that you need to work and massage until you finally see where the things connect, and then you can unravel it into one straight piece. Otherwise, you could wear it, but you’d always know there’s that knot there that looks ugly.